Martin Sexton's research while affiliated with University of Reading and other places

Publications (77)

Technical Report
The report captures the best practice in the management of COVID-19 hazards in construction projects commissioned by the Wokingham Borough Council (WBC). Specifically, the focus is on gaining a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 from the perspective of Tier 2 and Tier 3 construction firms. The construction sector and its clients has had...
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Purpose The prevailing literature argues the need for “new” skills to deliver energy-efficient buildings. The concept of new skills, however, has not been subject to empirical investigation. This paper aims to provide insight on the required new skills, and their development and application, for the successful delivery of energy-efficient school re...
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Purpose Maximising the benefit of learning from defects is regarded by UK housing associations (HAs) as a key opportunity to meet their challenges of building more homes with reduced government funding and rent incomes. Despite learning from defects being a frequent recommendation to reduce defects in the construction literature, there is scarce em...
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Purpose Research on housing defects has limited its enquiry to the classifications of defects, potential impact of defects, and their detection and remediation during construction and the builder’s liability period, without considering the warranty period. This paper aims to better understand which impacts of defects are perceived as important by...
Technical Report
The interconnected agendas of smart cities, big data and open data, on the face of it, provide bold and exciting opportunities for built environment professionals. With a focus at the city level, this research examines the development of data platforms in the UK and internationally, and determines how professionals in the built environment can bene...
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This paper explores how judges evaluate sustainability of buildings in RIBA award settings in the UK. A qualitative approach drawing on institutional theory is used to understand the ways judges legitimate particular evaluative views. Aesthetics and Sustainability focused logics are found to guide the evaluative legitimation process. An Aesthetics...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Rapid growth in the production of new homes in the United Kingdom (UK) is putting build quality under pressure as evidenced by rising numbers of defects. Housing Associations (HAs) contribute approximately 20% to the UK's housing supply. HAs are experiencing challenges of central government funding cuts and rental revenue reductions. Maximising the...
Conference Paper
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The expansion of global construction markets has substantial implications for companies engaged in cross-border transactions and financing. The convergence of the UK and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) infrastructure policy agendas has led to significant investment from Chinese construction companies in the UK infrastructure sector. On the dem...
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Rapid growth in the production of new homes in the UK is putting build quality under pressure as evidenced by an increase in the number of defects. Housing associations (HAs) contribute approximately 20% of the UK’s new housing supply. HAs are currently experiencing central government funding cuts and rental revenue reductions. As part of HAs’ ques...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Housing Associations (HAs) contribute circa 20% of the UK’s housing supply. HAs are however under increasing pressure as a result of funding cuts and rent reductions. Due to the increased pressure, a number of processes are currently being reviewed by HAs, especially how they manage and learn from defects. Learning from defects is considered a usef...
Conference Paper
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House builders play a key role in controlling the quality of new homes in the UK. The UK house building sector is, however, currently facing pressures to expand supply as well as conform to tougher low carbon planning and Building Regulation requirements; primarily in the areas of sustainability. There is growing evidence that the pressure the UK h...
Conference Paper
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The UK house building sector is facing dual pressures to expand supply, along with delivering against tougher Building Regulations' requirements, predominantly in the areas of sustainability. A review of current literature has highlighted that the pressures the UK house building industry is currently under may be having a negative impact on build q...
Chapter
Most countries in Europe have set targets to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency. In these countries, renewable energy from micro-generation technology (MGT) is an important part of the low carbon agenda. Little is known about the decision-making processes around the selection and adoption of such technologies, or about the actua...
Conference Paper
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The UK new-build housing sector is facing dual pressures to expand supply, whilst delivering against tougher planning and Building Regulation requirements; predominantly in the areas of sustainability. The sector is currently responding by significantly scaling up production and incorporating new technical solutions into new homes. This trajectory...
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The Code for Sustainable Homes will require new homes in the UK to be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016. Drawing upon an evolutionary innovation perspective, a gap in the literature is addressed by investigating which low and zero-carbon technologies are actually being used by house builders, rather than the prevailing emphasis on the potentiality of these t...
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IntroductionDefinitional Debate on InnovationMarket-based, Resource-based and Balanced Perspectives on InnovationCase Study of Innovation in a Small Construction Professional Service FirmConclusion
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Innovation in the built environment involves multiple actors with diverse motivations. Policy-makers find it difficult to promote changes that require cooperation from these numerous and dispersed actors and to align their sometimes divergent interests. Established research traditions on the economics and management of innovation pay only limited a...
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Environmental policy in the United Kingdom (UK) is witnessing a shift from command-and-control approaches towards more innovation-orientated environmental governance arrangements. These governance approaches are required which create institutions which support actors within a domain for learning not only about policy options, but also about their o...
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This study, based on a Delphi exercise and further analysis, provides a consensus view on sustainable development in relation to the construction industry, together with a broad improvement-oriented model. A pressure-state-response model has been infused with carefully identified priorities to give an iterative agenda for action. Cette étude, qui r...
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There is under-representation of senior female managers within small construction firms in the United Kingdom. The position is denying the sector a valuable pool of labour to address acute knowledge and skill shortages. Grounded theory on the career progression of senior female managers in these firms is developed from biographical interviews. Firs...
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IntroductionDiagnosisAction PlanningAction TakingAction EvaluationSpecifying LearningSummary and Link
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IntroductionOverall Research ProcessCase Study DesignResearch Techniques: Qualitative Data Collection TechniquesResearch Techniques: Qualitative Data Analysis TechniquesValidation – Triangulation StrategySummary and Link
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IntroductionConceptualisation of Small Professional PracticesDefinitional Debate on InnovationMarket- and Resource-Based View of InnovationKnowledge-Based View of InnovationKey Managerial Challenges for InnovationKey Research QuestionsSummary and Link
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Purpose – At the heart of knowledge management (KM) are the people – an organisation’s important knowledge asset. Although this is widely acknowledged, businesses seldom understand this axiom in terms of the communities through which individuals develop and share the capacity to create and use knowledge. It is the collective learning that takes pla...
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Academia has a critical role in developing new knowledge which construction industry practitioners need to envision, undertake and sustain successful innovation. The new knowledge produced by academia, however, often does not satisfy the needs of practitioners. This unsatisfactory state of affairs is frequently taken to be the consequence of the cu...
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Purpose – Unplanned changes in construction projects are common and lead to disruptive effects such as project delays, cost overruns and quality deviations. Rework due to unplanned changes can cost 10‐15 per cent of contract value. By managing these changes more effectively, these disruptive effects can be minimised. Previous research has approache...
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IntroductionDefinition of innovationClients' role in the innovation processThe role of the client in performance-based building innovationConclusions References
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In the information age, organization theories have addressed problem-solving as an information-processing activity. However, in this era, with the realization of knowledge-based views of the organization, shared problem-solving is increasingly recognized as a knowledge creation trigger. During shared problem-solving, stakeholders bring different ty...
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This paper providing an update on the results from an European Social Fund Project investigating "senior female managers in small construction firms within the North West of England." Initial research findings were presented at the 23rd ARCOM conference in 2007 (Lu et al., 2007a). It was indicated that the career decisions of female senior managers...
Article
The use of hybrid concrete technologies as a viable solution to traditional frame design has been inhibited by a general lack of information. The uptake of this technology has therefore been slow and parochial, as designers have tended to stay loyal to 'traditional', tried and tested technologies—their 'comfort zone'. This research identifies the b...
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Process models have been developed by academia and industry to enhance design and construction activities. However, effective and widespread adoption and use of such models in practice has been limited. This research investigated the dynamics of product development process (PDP) models implementation in construction companies. Four case studies wer...
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the key enablers and obstacles to the effective adoption and use of nD modelling technology. Design/methodology/approach – This paper explores the feasibility of industry absorbing and diffusing nD modelling technology by considering key technology transfer issues; namely, organisational direction,...
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The role of Intranets has changed significantly from a passive role of providing company information to its employees to a more dynamic role to share and capture knowledge. A review of the literature on Intranets reveals that some companies leverage them as tools for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Recent studies done in the constructi...
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There is an increasing demand for construction companies to adopt and use new technologies. At the same time universities are increasingly being called upon to assist with 'technology transfer' through a positive engagement with industry. However, there is little literature investigating technology transfer from the perspective of small constructi...
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V (2007) What are the key turning points in female career progression? The case of a senior manager in a small construction firm. In: Boyd, D (Ed) Procs 23 rd Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2007, Belfast, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 357-365. The under representation of women in senior management positions in c...
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Relevant literature is synthesized to provide a holistic picture of our current knowledge of innovation in small, project-based firms, highlighting significant gaps in the broad areas of ‘focus and outcome’, ‘organizational capabilities’, ‘context’ and ‘process’. Research findings from fieldwork focused on the construction industry are offered to a...
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Purpose This paper aims to prove that alliances in the construction industry can be used as vehicles to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Design/methodology/approach The paper first sets out a theoretical proposition through a literature review and synthesis, then details an empirical case study in the construction industry to investigate...
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Hybrid concrete construction is a technologically advanced approach to frame construction. It utilizes an optimal mix of structural materials; eg, in situ concrete with precast concrete and steelwork. The process of selecting an hybrid-optimized solution, however, often requires several factors to be considered, eg, 'hard' criteria such as time and...
Article
Hybrid concrete construction is a technologically advanced approach to frame construction. It utilizes an optimal mix of structural materials;eg, in situ concrete with precast concrete and steelwork. The process of selecting an hybrid-optimized solution, however, often requires several factors to be considered, eg, “hard”criteria such as time and c...
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Small construction knowledge-intensive professional service firms (SCKIPSFs) are becoming increasingly important agents of innovation within the construction industry. The nature and process of innovation in SCKIPSFs, however, is generally considered through the constraining prism of research results generated from significantly different contexts,...
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Construction companies are increasingly being challenged to transfer and use new technology. However, little investigation has been undertaken on technology transfer from the perspective of the small construction company. A contribution to this underdeveloped area is based on results from an interview survey of seven small UK construction companies...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify interdependent barriers to the search and selection of new technologies by design engineers at industry, organisation and individual levels. A “proof of concept” HyCon tool is presented to demonstrate the role of information technology design support tools in supporting designers to overcome these in...
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Purpose Different process models have been developed by academia and industry to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the design and construction activity in response to the need for improving performance. However, the effective and widespread adoption and use of process models have been limited, and the benefits resulting from these endeavo...
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One reason for the interest in performance-based building is that it is commonly advocated as a powerful way of enhancing innovation performance by articulating building performance outcomes, and by offering relevant procurement actors the discretion to innovate to meet these performance requirements more effectively and/or efficiently. The paper a...
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The nD modelling research agenda is looking at how information technology can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the building design and construction process. Building design is a complex task as there are different, sometimes conflicting, factors to be considered. One of the key challenges for nD modelling is the integration of th...
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Findings were drawn from an 18 month research project involving in-depth case study and action research fieldwork with seven small construction companies to understand the role and significance of innovation for them. A key finding of the work has been the importance of the role of effective technology transfer in the innovation process. The "organ...
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History of distance learning dates back to the late 1960’s. However, with the advent of the Internet it was repositioned as a major tool for course delivery so that students can undertake learning within a setting of their choice aligned with a pace that they can easily cope with. Marketing of distance learning programmes is a diversified business...
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Construction firms are being challenged to be more adept at successful innovation to better meet client needs and to enhance business competitiveness. The substantial contribution that small construction firms make to the output of the industry signifies the importance for this body of firms to improve their innovation performance if the performanc...
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Innovation-led performance improvement in the construction industry is significantly influenced by the innovation performance of small firms. There is a dearth of research investigating innovation from the perspective of the small construction firm. This paper contributes to this underdeveloped area by offering relevant empirically based results. T...
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Research and innovation in the built environment is increasingly taking on an inter-disciplinary nature. The built environment industry and professional practice have long adopted multi and inter-disciplinary practices. The application of IT in Construction is moving beyond the automation and replication of discrete mono and multi-disciplinary task...
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The construction sector is under growing pressure to increase productivity and improve quality, most notably in reports by Latham (1994, Constructing the Team, HMSO, London) and Egan (1998, Rethinking Construction, HMSO, London). A major problem for construction companies is the lack of project predictability. One method of increasing predictabilit...
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The complexity of construction projects and the fragmentation of the construction industry undertaking those projects has effectively resulted in linear, unco-ordinated and highly variable project processes in the UK construction sector. Research undertaken at the University of Salford resulted in the development of an improved project process, the...
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The construction sector is under growing pressure to increase productivity and improve quality, most notably in reports by Latham (1994, Constructing the Team, HMSO, London) and Egan (1998, Rethinking Construction, HMSO, London). A major problem for construction companies is the lack of project predictability. One method of increasing predictabilit...
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The complexity of construction projects and the fragmentation of the construction industry undertaking those projects has effectively resulted in linear, uncoordinated and highly variable project processes in the UK construction sector. Research undertaken at the University of Salford resulted in the development of an improved project process, the...
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The 1970s and 1980s have witnessed the development of many technological advances in the construction industry. At the same time, IT has been perceived as a driver for many of the construction business and operational processes. The 1990s have seen a technological shift in the construction sector from IT driven solutions to IT enabling ones. The in...
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1.,Abstract Increased globalised competition and the need ,to meet ,continuously changing ,customer ,requirements
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This paper considers the maturation of organisational capability, specifically in relation to construction industry organisations involved in the process of designing and constructing buildings. It discusses how the maturation of construction information technology, and its application, co-exists and co-operates with process capability maturation....
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The EPSRC funded KIM Grand Challenge project to investigate the use of Knowledge and Information Management techniques in the context of the emerging product-service paradigm in engineering is introduced. The paper focuses on the topic addressed by Task 3.3 of this project, decision support. An outline is offered of an approach to decision support...
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Alliances are collaborative vehicles which have been set up to respond to intense and rapid changes associated with globalisation. This alliance trend is evident in the construction industry. Although numerous studies have been conducted on alliances, which have addressed such issues as alliance classification and design, inadequate emphasis has b...
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In recent years many efforts had taken place in order to develop process and IT maps within the construction sector. However, the subject of co-maturation between IT and the process has not been given enough attention. This has resulted in the development of impractical solutions because of an apparent lack of balance between the IT and process cap...
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The product-service paradigm requires a shift in focus for many engineering disciplines, forcing them to change from providing products to providing products and associated services. Such a shift is likely to present several challenges to the built environment due to its inherent organisational fragmentations and through-life discontinuities. This...
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Government and institutionally-driven 'good practice transfer' initiatives are consistently presented as a means to enhance construction firm and industry performance. Two implicit tenets of these initiatives appear to be: knowledge embedded in good practice will transfer automatically; and, the potential of implementing good practice will be capit...
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Sharing knowledge in a strategic alliance is far from being a smooth and self-propelled process. An important determinant of successful knowledge sharing is the level of fit between the tasks being undertaken by alliance partners and the IT-enabled knowledge sharing mechanism being employed to carry out these tasks. This paper reports on ongoing re...
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The built environment sector has a poor reputation for innovation. Indeed this reputation appears to be backed by official statistics where innovation in the sector is not well represented by standard indicators. However, the reputation is undeserved. Official statistics misrepresent the extent and nature of innovation that exists in a wide view of...
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The Manufacturing industry has been striving, for a number of years, for improvements in the way new products are developed. The industry has adopted a 'process view' in order to organise and manage their new product development (NPD) activities effectively and efficiently. Other industries have, of late, tried to adopt such a 'process' and 'whole...
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The practice of the construction industry is project-based. The basic unit of work is individual projects, which may vary in size, length and complexity. However, some features are common to all construction projects. Project change is one of these common features. During a construction project many decisions have to be made based on incomplete inf...
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Findings will be provided on an eighteen-month research project involving in-depth case study and action research fieldwork with seven small construction companies to understand the role and significance of innovation for them. A key finding of the work has been the organizational and market pressures for senior managers to focus principally on ope...
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The construction industry has witnessed serious efforts in the last few years through the consideration of the adoption of new procurement systems and production/manufacturing philosophies. However, process maps which can help organisations map their processes into some meaningful structure are still lacking. The product (building) is still the mai...

Citations

... Lu and Sexton (Lu and Sexton 2009) developed a framework to examine innovation in the built environment using ICs and thus was used to guide this research. Based on their framework, this research proposition was formulated that the Industry 4.0 implementation process is approached as innovation, while IC was approached as knowledge-based innovation resources. ...
... Much like capacity, the process of CB is geared toward attaining a specific objective. CB is viewed as a multi-dimensional and dynamic process as seen from the literature on the subject (Stoll (2010;Meyer et al., 2012;Bevan et al., 2020). Placing CB in the context of the construction industry, it can be defined as the conscious and managed process that maximizes the contribution of the construction industry to meet the national construction demand while providing value to clients and the society at large (Mamman, 2014). ...
... BIM and Digitization: Under the Construction 2025 strategy, government commitments of 50% faster construction delivery, 33% lower costs, and 50% lower emissions require a fundamental revision to existing standards of practice in the traditional construction industry [40]. BIM and smarter construction design solutions prioritise real-time tracking, site-system management modelling, and component-based construction practices that not only justify offsite solutions but compel traditional firms to explore new ways of conducting business and executing their residential deliveries [41]. ...
... However, determining the sustainability in the operation of a smart city with the application of big data technology is also difficult. A report by Dixon et al. [141] showed this in big data initiatives in the built environment face four primary challenges: (1) There was a lack of agreement in the definitions and measurement of built environment big data; (2) A lack of commercial involvement in the built environment sector; (3) Because various datasets were not compatible with one another. (4) It was currently lacking a "bottom-up" and demand-focused strategy in the smart cities movement. ...
... In the UK housing sector, the high land costs, the stagnating delivery of affordable new-build homes, and market dominance by many high-volume housebuilders limit progress towards lower carbon new-build homes [49,50]. Framed as a socially innovative means of opening up the demand for technological progress [51], local interventions into market practices, operating in the shadow of the ZCH policy failure, have actively cultivated this relationship more intimately, connecting the benefits to be derived from energy-efficient housing to the people who can enjoy them [36]. ...
... The chapter aims to answer the following questions: Barthes, 1985;Baudrillard, 1995;Bonenberg & Kapliński, 2018;Boudon, 2000;Boutinet, 2005;Buchler, 1955;Chupin et al., 2015;Chupin, 2011;P. Collins, 1971;Cucuzzella, 2015b;Fisette, 1997;Fry, 2009;Giddens, 1984;Kaelin, 1983;Krampen, 2013;Yuan Li, 2017;Nelson & Stolterman, 2012;Oliveira & Sexton, 2016;Owen & Lorrimar-Shanks, 2015;Perkins-Buzo, 2017;Rönn et al., 2011;A. D. Schön, 1983;Simon, 1996;Turner et al., 2015;Zeisel, 2006) 4. What is the relation between sustainable design reasoning and the judgement of sustainable architecture? ...
... For example, no subject specific data repositories exist so far. However, the creation of data sets and the availability of open data about the built environment are emerging boosted by the concept of smart cities. Dixon et al. [29] argue that the smart city concept is fostering the access to built-environment open data hubs that are getting available in an increasing number of cities. Typically these open data hubs include data about transport, energy, land use and property, but often no data about the actual behavior of people is made available, commonly for privacy issues. Several examples are available of open data sets that have been established recently to support occupant-centric research but most of them without explicit data on occupant presence and behavior. ...
... In research, triangulation occurs with the use of multiple sources of evidence, such as secondary data, direct investigation and theories (Lu and Sexton, 2009). To enhance confidence in findings, triangulation can also occur using different methods. ...
... A significant amount of the literature identifies looks at innovation within social housing relating to the design and build of housing, reduced carbon usage and sustainable construction [73][74][75][76][77][78][79][80][81]. Innovation in technological advances in medicine and health care which is applied to housing services, mostly used by elderly people through telecare and assistive technologies [82][83][84][85][86][87]. ...
... During the literature review, the research team explored previous studies, discussing BIM innovation between 2000-2010. When BIM was not as popular as today, research focused more on ICT innovation in the AEC industry [43,44]. After 2008, BIM innovation research began to evolve in the form of theoretical [45,46] and practical explanations [15,[47][48][49]. ...